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Old 08-27-2004, 03:16 PM   #1
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Smelly water

My 75 gal finished cycling and I moved my 5 platys and 1 pictus catfish into it today. They are sooooo happy.

The QT tank they were in developed a very strong odor (like when you open a bag of potting soil, kind of a peat or fertilizer type smell) over the past couple of weeks and I can't figure out why. Two possibilities: I had java moss in there for about a week (late July or early August) but took it out because it was too messy. Maybe the leaves that were left in there that didn't get removed during water changes could cause it? Or a decoration I bought at Wal-Mart maybe had something in it that started leaching out into the water. I'm stumped.

Anyway, I broke down the tank and I'm rinsing everything off really good. I'll have to start a new cycle before I get more fish. Again. Sigh. I've got a couple biowheels I can put into the established tanks, though, to jumpstart it.

So, two questions:
1. Does anybody have any idea about the smell?
2. How long should I leave the biowheels in the established tanks before I move them back to help the cycle of the QT?

TIA
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Old 08-27-2004, 04:10 PM   #2
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I dont know about the smell...When my tanks cycle, they smell bad. Also when the nitrates are high mine smell bad. Maybe leave the bio-wheels in a week or two?
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Old 08-27-2004, 04:12 PM   #3
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come to think of it, my tanks smell a little like dirt. I have tons of plants. maybe thats it
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Old 08-27-2004, 04:59 PM   #4
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This got so bad you could smell it from another room, blech.

Well, I've got the QT tank set up again to start on a new cycle. I filled a bucket with tap water and added dechlor before I rinsed everything off, so hopefully I still have some bacteria left.
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Old 08-27-2004, 07:55 PM   #5
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I've read somewhere that an aquarium should smell like potting soil. I've never smelled potting soil but I assume it smells.. uhm.. fresh and like it just rained. BUT!! not the STINKY rain.

Yeah this didn't help. Heh.
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Old 08-28-2004, 12:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cginflorida
This got so bad you could smell it from another room, blech.
I bought some cabomba from Petsmart one time that had a funny smell. I put it in both my 29 and 30 gallon tanks. A short time later, I realized that the funny smell was cyanobacteria and I ended up with an outbreak in both tanks. Had to treat both with erythromyacin to get rid of it.

Did you notice any algae growth? Even if you didn't, the bacteria could be there and you could have an outbreak down the road. I'm particularly suspicious of buying plants from large chain stores after my cabomba incident.

A few weeks after I cleared mine up, we were in Petsmart. I walked by the plant tank and sniffed it--distinct smell of cyano.

I hope you don't have it, but if the smell is very strong, that's my first suspicion.
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Old 08-28-2004, 01:47 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tip, MadameX. The other 10 gal that had the java moss never developed that smell, so I think it'll be okay. I haven't noticed any algae growth either, but I'll keep an eye out for it.
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Old 08-29-2004, 11:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
A short time later, I realized that the funny smell was cyanobacteria and I ended up with an outbreak in both tanks. Had to treat both with erythromyacin to get rid of it.
Same here...I'm at the point where I smell the odor and head immediately to the pet store for Maracyn. It seems that every time I start a new tank I get an outbreak.
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